Nov. 17, 2006

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

by Anonymous

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Poem: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 from The Geneva Bible. Public domain. (buy now)

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

To all things there is an appointed time, and a time to
        everie purpose under the heaven.
A time to be borne, and a time to dye: a time to plant, and
        a time to plucke up that, which is planted.
A time to slay, and a time to heale: a time to breake
        downe, and a time to buylde.
A time to wepe, and a time to laugh: a time to mourne, and
        a time to dance.
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones: a
        time to embrace, and a time to be farre from embracing.
A time to seke, and a time to lose: a time to kepe, and a
        time to cast away.
A time to rent, and a time to sowe: a time to kepe
        silence, and a time to speake.
A time to love, and a time to hate: a time of warre. And a
        time of peace.

Literary and Historical Notes:

It was on this day in 1968 that NBC executives made one of the worst broadcasting decisions in the history of network television, interrupting their coverage of a football game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets in order to show the scheduled movie, Heidi, about an orphaned girl who goes to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps.

There was one minute left in the game and the Jets were leading by 32 to 29, when NBC went to a commercial. No televised football game had ever gone longer than three hours before, and executives weren't sure what to do. Timex had paid a lot of money to advertise during Heidi, and network executives figured the Jets would win the game anyway, so after the commercial break, the movie began.

Football fans were enraged. So many people called to complain that the NBC telephone switchboard in New York City blew 26 fuses. People were right to complain. What they missed was the Raiders coming back to score two touchdowns in the final minute, winning the game 43 to 32.

It was that game, and the storm of protest by fans, that forced TV executives to realize how passionate the audience for football really was. Two years later, networks began showing football on Monday nights as well. And because of that game, the NFL now has a contract with the networks that all football games will be shown until their completion.

It was on this day in 1558 that the Elizabethan era began with the ascension of Queen Elizabeth I to the English throne. She took power at a time when England was a debt-ridden, divided country, and she set out to stabilize and restore England's status. She was a Protestant, but she gave Catholics the freedom to worship, which eased the tensions between Protestants and Catholics. But she also knew that her subjects wanted a monarch they could worship, and so she often went on walking tours in public so the ordinary people could see her dressed in the most elaborate of gowns and jewels. She commissioned portraits of herself, which would be widely distributed, and she hired balladeers to write songs about her.

She was always wary of getting into wars, but in 1580s it was clear that Spain planned to invade. When she got word that the Spanish Armada was sailing toward England, she rode out to rally the troops in a white gown and silver breastplate. Her advisors were terrified that she would expose herself to armed subjects, some of whom might not be loyal, but she refused to doubt her subjects loyalty, and those troops went on to defeat the Spanish Armada in one of the most famous naval battles in history.

She began building up England's empire by chartering seven companies, including the East India Company, to begin colonizing areas around the world. She also presided over an English renaissance in art and especially literature. Itinerant actors had been banned under previous monarchs, but Elizabeth allowed the legal operation of theaters, and the result was a new career for writers such as Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, and William Shakespeare.

She reigned for 45 years, one of the great eras in English history. Near the end of her reign, she said to her subjects: "Though God hath raised me high, yet this I count the glory of my crown: that I have reigned with your loves. And though you have had, and may have, many mightier and wiser princes sitting in this seat; yet you never had, nor shall have any that will love you better."

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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